Springfield city councilors seek to prioritize local access to COVID-19 vaccine

Hampden County

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield city councilors are working to make COVID-19 vaccines more accessible for their residents.

The mass vaccination site at The Eastfield Mall has vaccinated more than 600 people a day since it first opened nearly a week ago. However, the chair of the city’s COVID-19 Response Committee, Jesse Lederman, worries that access to the mass site will be limited for city residents once the state enters more phases of distribution.

“For a city of 160,000 people it’s not going to work to just have one huge site,” said Lederman. “That location at The Eastfield Mall is serving as not only a regional hub but people from all over the state are being able to get vaccinated there.”

Lederman is one of many city councilors that have written a letter to Governor Charlie Baker advocating for local vaccine distribution, specifically for city residents.

Councilors and Health & Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris have a plan in place that would include vaccination sites easily accessible by all of the city’s neighborhoods.

“She has identified 10 sites throughout the city to make sure every neighborhood would be able to access a clinic easily,” Lederman continued. “The real issue is to make sure that we are assured by the state that doses will be made available to be able to give access to residents in those communities.”

The Springfield city councilors have invited the Baker administration to attend the next meeting of the COVID-19 Response Committee on Tuesday, February 9.

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